Career: As a calling or to be rich?

When you make career choices, do you do it because of money or as a mission/calling? Sadly, many people give up their lives’ passion to persuade just a job- something that pays the bills, or to support a lavish lifestyle. But don’t forget, you have to spend 8 hours or more in your job and loving what you do gives the best hours of your life meaning.

Today, I paid my family dentist a visit. This family dentist had known me since I was 5 years old – when he started his own practice as a young aspiring dentist. Today, he’s over 65 with grown-up kids who are doctors. He literally watched me grow up from a little child and I literally watched him grow old.

Still, what I admire the most about him is his passion for his job- he does not set up the practice with making money as his main aim. Of course, the clinic helps pay for his bills, fund his kids education overseas. But he offers great discounts to long time patients or to those who could not afford, sometimes up to 50% or more. He had displayed countless examples of how it’s not always bout the money.

But at this age when he can retire, he chooses not to. He told me about a recent trip he had to Camerons and all the walking- he really did not enjoy himself. But he enjoys the 2km jogs that he does few times a week.

Being a religious and righteous man, he also tries to find out what is happening in his patients lives, offer fatherly advise and try to instill good values in people. His clinic’s modest, with just to basic equipments but his years of experience- is priceless.

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He also have a very hypnotic and soothing voice that could soothe a frightened patient like me. Sounds of drills and vision of sharp object absolutely terrifies me and make everything much more painful that it had to be. I would have never gone through 3 root canals, 2 teeth extraction, countless filling (my sweet tooth contributed to lots of tooth issues and occasional infections) had it not because that I really trust him.

He could also immediately diagnosed what is wrong with confidence and offer the treatment to cure.

I remembered once I had a terrible infection which caused me to have sinus, sore throat, pain in the ear, headache, red eyes and toothache (I have mentioned this in a previous post). When I went to my company doctor, he told me that the pain was triggered by my sinus condition and gave me an inhaler (with contains steroids). He also insisted that I see his brother who is an ENT specialist at a private hospital.

When I told him that I don’t like the idea of taking an inhaler and some suggestions that my mom (who’s a retired nurse) had given me, he even went on to imply that he’s the doctor and my mom was only a nurse who probably knew nothing. Anyway, I did not use the inhaler.

Even though I did not get better, the toothache brought me to my dentist. After checking, he immediately told me that all my problems (toothache, sinus, ear pain, headache, sore throat) are due to one thing: bacteria infection that entered through one of my wisdom tooth. He promptly cleared the cavity, applied medicine, did some filling and prescribed some antibiotics. Before I even left his clinic, all the pain just disappears! If I had visited him earlier, I would not need to suffer days and nights for nothing. So much so for alleged sinus condition…

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Nowadays, I seldom see a person having genuine passion for their profession. It’s always about status and money. People say that we have to be practical as there are bills to be paid. People put up with jobs that they do not like because it’s the job that makes the most money. But years down the line, their health will bite back- a stressful lifestyle can lead to inactivity, stress eating, fatigue, illness such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.

My current job has many demands but I spend more than 8hours on a workday doing something that I believe it- and that contributes to making lives of people easier. It gives meaning to me, and I feel that I do make a difference, even though a little. My colleagues (and even my bosses) do not understand why I turn down higher positions and good career opportunities.

But having been thorough my fair share in life, I have come to the conclusion that in the end, money is important, but it’s not everything. I’ll just settle for my old but fully functional, buy fewer clothes and basically, life more modestly. But I feel happy and contended.

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